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Arthur Conan Doyle (Артур Конан Дойль)


«The Guards Came Through» (1919). 5. The Guns in Sussex


Light green of grass and richer green of bush
	Slope upwards to the darkest green of fir;
How still! How deathly still! And yet the hush
	Shivers and trembles with some subtle stir,
Some far-off throbbing like a muffled drum,
	Beaten in broken rhythm oversea,
To play the last funereal march of some
	Who die to-day that Europe may be free.

The deep-blue heaven, curving from the green,
	Spans with its shimmering arch the flowery zone;
In all God's earth there is no gentler scene,
	And yet I hear that awesome monotone;
Above the circling midge's piping shrill,
	And the long droning of the questing bee,
Above all sultry summer sounds, it still
	Mutters its ceaseless menaces to me.

And as I listen, all the garden fair
	Darkens to plains of misery and death,
And, looking past the roses, I see there
	Those sordid furrows with the rising breath
Of all things foul and black. My heart is hot
	Within me as I view it, and I cry,
"Better the misery of these men's lot
	Than all the peace that comes to such as I!"

And strange that in the pauses of the sound
	I hear the children's laughter as they roam,
And then their mother calls, and all around
	Rise up the gentle murmurs of a home.
But still I gaze afar, and at the sight
	My whole soul softens to its heart-felt prayer,
"Spirit of Justice, Thou for whom they fight,
	Ah, turn in mercy to our lads out there!

"The froward peoples have deserved Thy wrath,
	And on them is the Judgment as of old,
But if they wandered from the hallowed path,
	Yet is their retribution manifold.
Behold all Europe writhing on the rack,
	The sins of fathers grinding down the sons,
How long, O Lord?" He sends no answer back,
	But still I hear the mutter of the guns. 



Arthur Conan Doyle's other poems:
  1. «The Guards Came Through» (1919). 11. The Wreck on Loch McGarry
  2. «The Guards Came Through» (1919). 12. The Bigot
  3. «The Guards Came Through» (1919). 20. Retrospect
  4. «Songs of the Road» (1911). 12. Bendy's Sermon
  5. «Songs of the Road» (1911). 17. Man's Limitation


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